There is a practice in the litigation arena that is sometimes referred to as “benching” a hospitality expert or other types of consultants. This is where a law firm will name and retain an expert to prevent opposing counsel from using that particular person because of their credentials or as leverage to promote a settlement of the case. Hospitality Expert WitnessIt is a practice occasionally employed even if the expert is hired on, though they never do any work. Among many practicing expert witnesses, this is perfectly legitimate provided they are paid their expected fees in advance. However, there is also a similar practice among some plaintiff and defense attorneys, where the expert witness is never paid their retainer or engagement fees. For example, this usually happens after a professional consultant has been called and agrees to be named and takes the case. Then, he or she sends out their agreement with the retainer fee request. Only to find out later or never at all, that the lawyer filed their hospitality expert disclosure in court naming that professional as though they were in fact hired, yet never paid the required fees. There is some commentary, if you are someone who provides testimony such as a hotel operations expert, in an article called “Designation of Expert by Attorney without Expert’s Permission (or sometimes even knowledge!).” There is also a definition here if you want to understand how say a restaurant expert differs from a lay witness in court. Are you a legal professional, who has experience with designating a hospitality expert or some other professional, and can offer your input on this subject? Or, what has been your experience if you are an expert witness and have you been named without your knowledge and how did you handle it??